Davao's policies on women clash with Duterte's macho lingo
MANILA, Philippines – Following Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's remarks on the rape of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill, social media was flooded with posts condemning the tough-talking presidential candidate.
One of them was a photo of a Davao City ordinance to protect women and promote their development.
During a campaign rally on April 12, Duterte was caught on video saying: "Nagalit ako kasi nirape, oo isa rin 'yun. Pero napakaganda, dapat ang mayor muna ang mauna. Sayang." (I was angry because she was raped, that's one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste.)
The Facebook post cited City Ordinance 5004, or the Women Development Code of Davao City, and highlighted Section 8 of Article I, Chapter II.
The section, called Other Forms of Sexual Harassment, details several acts prohibited in the city.
The violations mentioned in the photo are:
- Persistent telling of offensive jokes such as green jokes or other analogous statements to someone who finds them offensive or humiliating
- Staring or leering maliciously
- Kissing or embracing someone against her will
- Cursing, whistling or calling a woman in public with words having dirty connotations or implications which tend to ridicule, humiliate or embarrass the woman such as “puta (whore)", “boring”, “peste (pest)", etc.
Aside from those the photo mentioned, the ordinance also covers the following:
- Taunting a person with constant talk about sex and sexual innuendoes
- Displaying offensive or lewd pictures and publications in the workplace
- Interrogating someone about sexual activities or private life; during interviews for employment, scholarship grant, or any lawful activity applied for
- Making offensive hand or body gestures at someone
- Repeatedly asking for dates despite verbal rejection
- Touching, pinching or brushing up against someone's body unnecessarily or deliberately
- Requesting sexual favors in exchange for a good grade, obtaining a good job or promotion, etc
- Any other unnecessary acts during physical examinations
- Requiring women to wear suggestive or provocative attire during interviews such as job hiring, promotion, admission
The law was approved by Duterte and City Councilor Nilo Abellera on October 14, 1997.
In Davao, forms of violence against women and children (VAWC) – including trafficking, sex trades, "beauty" contests, forced marriage, and abuses in armed conflict situations – can be punished by fines, imprisonment or both.
For abuses in armed conflict situations, however, the code stipulates "violation shall be penalized through summary dismissal proceedings of the local AFP/PNP and/or at the discretion of the local Police Law Enforcement Board."
Establishments violating the code, meanwhile, can lose their business permits.
Duterte and women
Duterte is both a women's rights advocate and a known womanizer. (READ: Duterte, his 6 contradictions and planned dictatorship)
Aside from the city code, Duterte supported the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill. Davao City was also ahead of the rest of the country in providing free contraceptives. (READ: #PHVote: Why is Duterte so appealing?)
But he has also been the subject of the ire of many people for his behavior towards women.
Women advocates have castigated his remarks on rape. One Billion Rising Director Monique Wilson wrote: "It is a diminishing of the act of rape. It is trivializing rape. It is the normalizing of rape."
She urged him to consider what he would have done had it been his daughter.
Wilson seems to have gotten her answer when Inday Sara, his daughter, claimed that she was also a rape victim. The mayor responded by saying she could not have been raped, and jokingly called her a drama queen.
He has also admitted he has two wives and two girlfriends, and was filmed going on a kissing spree on the campaign trail.
On the subject of his affairs and his sexual prowess, he had this to say: "Noon nung bata pa ako, overnight, medyo magastos yun. Noong matanda na ako, short time, kasi napaka-short na talaga ang panahon ko. Pagkatapos ng isang kilat ‘yun na ‘yun. No more. Kung walang Viagra, hirap pa."
Duterte explained his actions as being his "character" and added "There’s nothing wrong in kissing women. Beso-beso lang ‘yan (That’s only kissing on the cheek).”
Netizens called him out on it, saying it was a form of objectification.
Despite running against his running mate, Duterte gave Leni Robredo's looks some attention. He said he would make her his "assistant president," and when asked to explain why, said, "Maganda siya. Maganda talaga siya. Basta maganda siya (She is beautiful. She's just really beautiful)."
Davao a safe city for women?
"It shall be the policy of the Local Government of Davao City to uphold the rights of women and the belief in their worth and dignity as human beings. Women shall be recognized as full and equal partners of men in development and nation building and men shall share equally with all forms of productive and reproductive activities," said the code.
Aside from protection for women, Davao's Women Development Code also has provisions for cultural identity of women, socioeconomic benefits for women, rural women's rights ,among others.
However, while Davao City has an ordinance against VAWC aside from the national law, it is also one of the cities with the highest cases of rape. (READ: The streets that haunt Filipino women)
According to the Philippine National Police's (PNP) data on index crimes from 2010 to 2015, Davao City had the second most number of rape cases at 843. Quezon City had the highest at 1,122, while Manila was third with 746. (READ: Dear Mayor Duterte, a woman or child is raped every 53 minutes in PH)
Duterte, his running mate, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, and his supporters point to his track record as mayor and women's advocate when talking about his plans for the country, but should he win, which side of Davao City and himself will be revealed? – Rappler.com